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Old 09-22-2008, 12:28 PM
 
18 posts, read 131,908 times
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I will be moving half way across the country driving a 26' truck and towing my car.
How hard is it to negotiate gas stations driving a rig that size (it is a diesel)
Can I fill up where the big rigs fill up? Or do I have to stay where the cars fill up.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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Just did this in July. At first totally scary. Reversing is a PAIN so I would suggest doing everything in your power to avoid this if possible. And if you do MAKE sure you have space.

If you stick to TRUCK stops while driving you are FINE. Easy to crusie through their lots and their pumps. That is what I did for 95% of my stops. I would also always try and stick to stations RIGHT at highway exits. The more driving into residential/commerical areas the tighter the parking lots will be.

The only time I had a tad of an issue was near DC where it is very developed and harder to find diesel. Outside that the back country on highways there are tons of trucker stops.

Also once I got to my new location (NJ) I had to refill before dropping off. So since I already lowered car off hitch, I disconnected hitch and went to fill up. Came back attached it back and then dropped it off. Made the fill up MUCH easier.

Good luck. And if you have any overnight stays I suggest finding a storage unit place or camp ground for overnight parking. That is what we did and it worked out well.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
700 posts, read 2,449,208 times
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You are correct its a huge scary pain!!! Then after once or twice you figure it out and its not so bad...
Just PLAN AHEAD... " be the ball"... Watch the height of the truck and the canopy of the gas station, that got me once. Also know which side the tank is on, no sense making the experience worse by doing it twice. Do not drive into any place that you will need to back up!! Park away from the buildings on the street if you must and walk in...

Go slow, plan ahead and it will be a piece of cake, its the impatient drivers that get stuck. Like I did...once.
I say, pull into where the "big rigs" fuel up....whats the worse that can happen? they say no? usually even at the stations with the cars the diesel is off to the side.

Good Luck
5
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:10 AM
 
Location: OH->FL->NJ
14,538 posts, read 10,347,668 times
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Been there done that twice. Don’t believe the naysayers. YOU CAN DO THIS! I like driving trucks. Who woulda known? It was easy tho you must pay much more attention and plan.

1) Truck stops are not called truck stops. They are called travel centers now. Don’t miss them looking for a "truck stop". Flying J and Travel America are examples. They are generally clean and safe.
2) To back up with a trailer, put your hand at the buttom of the wheel. Turn your hand in the direction you want the *trailer* to turn. As soon as you start to see the edge of the trailer turn the other way. It takes a bit of practice but is doable.
3) PULL THRU 30’ in front of the pump at a fueling spot when done THEN pay. This way the guy behind you can start fueling while you pee and pay.
4) The 26’ers only have a fuel tank on the passenger side. You have to start the main pump and turn it on (not the nozzle the on lever on the pump itself) THEN walk over to the other side to start the satelite pump.
5) A truck accelerates and brakes much slower. Don’t play speed racer here, go conservative on speed just once in your life. It’ll be over soon.
6) LEARN THE MIRRORS. Truck mirrors are MUCH better than car mirrors. This is good because you cant see using a rear view mirror.
7) Flash your head lights when a truck is fully past. Many will do likewise. This means “you are clear of me”. Do unto others and all that.
8) Idea. Have someone drive the car. Honestly the hardest part of all this is that ****ing trailer. It turns faster than the truck when backing. Bonus was my wife had the car (MAKE SURE THEY DON’T TAILGATE!) I would signal. She would go out to the lane change before me and block anyone trying to squeeze by. We had those 70 dollar walkie talkies with halfish mile range for easy communication without having to do the cellphone thing all the time.
9) Opinions differ on whether to stop at weigh stations. I was told to, and did. Further south I went the less they cared about me. The Ohio station was full of ********.

Last edited by ottomobeale; 09-23-2008 at 06:12 AM.. Reason: speling arrorz
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:21 PM
 
11,149 posts, read 14,926,875 times
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As the others have said -- feel free to use the truck pumps. The fewer turns you have to navigate, the better you'll feel!
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:52 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 20,318,112 times
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Ottomobeale said it all in his post! Splashback, people drive and refuel rental trucks every day, so that'll tell you how easy it is. Don't be nervous, you'll do fine!. When you stop at a travel center (Travel Centers of America, Flying J, Petro and Pilot are the largest chains), you can pick up one of their freebie magazines for the truckers and it will have a listing of all their locations so you can better plan your stops. Let us know how your trip went!
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:19 AM
 
Location: OH->FL->NJ
14,538 posts, read 10,347,668 times
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Oh and look at fuel prices and taxes in each state you will drive through. Prices can vary like 50 cents a gallon in each state and you are filling a 55 gallon tank!
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,225 posts, read 8,099,574 times
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And if you pay cash for the diesel you will save some money per gallon.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Dillon, Montana
586 posts, read 1,838,336 times
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I did it too! Single woman alone, 26' Penski with a car trailer from Tucson to Boone, NC. Even did some sightseeing! Coolest moment: getting out of that #%&$ dead end after a wrong turn! Whoo hoo!! I can back a combination!! Worst moment: Motel 6 wouldn't take the owners credit card I was driving on after a 13 hour driving day. They made me cry! Scariest, most insane 40 minutes: I-85 in Atlanta!!! Almost soiled my britches! Funniest moment: Driving in circles around the Greenville, AL courthouse looking for a place to park (genealogy nerd!). Most satisfying moment: rescuing the kitten from the engine compartment of a parked car, also in Greenville, AL.

The trip was a great adventure that made me hungry for more. Watch your blind spot getting on the I-state and changing lanes in town. Know that there is most likely a governer on the truck, preventing it from going faster than 70mph. Yeah I know, but was I going to do 45 mph from Tucson to Boone!? I think not. That truck beat the crap out of me too. By day 5, my butt was plenty sore. Those rentals are not made for long haul trucking! One more thing, about 1/2 way, call for a service stop and have them check the air filter, etc., especially if you have poor performance. I had to make two stops, one for poor engine performance (hence the air cleaner), and one for a trailer tire. I mentioned a shimy on the front end, and they replaced both front tires on the truck with brand new ones. Penski was WONDERFUL, awesome even, all the way! I'll never use U-Haul for an OTR trip again.

Be careful, and have fun!

Last edited by Crew Chief; 10-06-2008 at 08:40 AM.. Reason: Sorry, had to correct the Atlanta interstate; clogged fuel filters can also cause a diesel to lose power, too.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:20 PM
 
Location: California
305 posts, read 1,639,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottomobeale View Post
Oh and look at fuel prices and taxes in each state you will drive through. Prices can vary like 50 cents a gallon in each state and you are filling a 55 gallon tank!
Good point! And make sure you budget for the cost of gas. We moved just 400 miles with a 17' truck, not towing a car, and it cost us over $100 to fill up 3/4 of a tank. I drive a honda civic with amazing mpg, and it was a huge shock seeing a number that high. SUV and truck drivers may be used to it, but not me!
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